Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine Summary & Study Guide

Tom Jordan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 25 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Pre.
This section contains 440 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine Study Guide

Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine Summary & Study Guide Description

Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine by Tom Jordan.

Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine by Tom Jordan is the biography of long distance American runner Steve Prefontaine, whose young life met a tragic end when he died in a car accident at age 24. During his brief career, he set many American records in various track events and won the admiration of many for his mental tenacity and physical endurance.

Steve "Pre" Prefontaine was born in Coos Bay, Oregon, a working-class small town. From the spirit of this town Pre perhaps inherited his legendary work ethic and down-to-earth honesty. Starting his athletic career as an undersized benchwarmer on the junior high football team, Pre became enamored of track and soon began a meteoric rise in the sport. He practiced relentlessly and displayed a kind of toughness and guts that very few of his contemporaries possessed.

From a fantastic high school career, Pre advanced to the University of Oregon under legendary track coach Bill Bowerman. He continued to improve in such events as the two-mile, 5000 meter, and three-mile events. He led his track team to an amazing string of victories at the state championship level. He developed a front-running style in which he would set a torrid pace and lead the pack of runners shortly after the start of a race, wearing his opponents down. He became a celebrity, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated and becoming a public relations manager for the fledgling Oregon shoe company Nike. While he excelled in cross country events, Pre relished indoor events because of his raucous supporters, which he called My People.

Breaking American records and setting NCAA Championship records, Pre competed in the 5000 meter in the '72 Munich Olympics. As many others, Pre was affected emotionally and mentally by the terrorist attacks against Israeli athletes that took place. Pre led for much of the race but was eventually outlasted, running out of gas and placing fourth.

After continued collegiate success, Pre became a non-collegiate amateur athlete. He fought for amateur athletes and was very outspoken about amateur athlete's financial difficulties and the monopoly the Amateur Athlete Union (AAU) had on amateur sports. After a mixed 1974 European season, Pre prepared for the '76 Olympic games.

Sadly, he would never reach those games. On May 30, 1975, after a party, Pre crashed his car at a sharp curve in the road. The car rolled over and pinned him underneath; by the time police arrive, Pre was crushed to death. Pre left a legacy with his work ethic and never-give-up attitude. He brought Nike to international prominence. Soon after his death amateur athletics was improved via congressional legislation.

Read more from the Study Guide

This section contains 440 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine Study Guide
Copyrights
BookRags
Pre: The Story of America's Greatest Running Legend, Steve Prefontaine from BookRags. (c)2016 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.